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You have finally overcome the exhausting process of a successful paper publication and are just thinking that it’s time to relax for a while. Maybe you are right to do so, but don’t take very long…you see, just like the research process itself, pursuing a career as an author of published works is also about expecting results. In other words, today there are tools that can tell you if your publication(s) is/are impacting the number of people you believed it would (or not). One of the most common tools researchers use is the H-index score.
Knowing how impactful your publications are among your audience is key to defining your individual performance as a researcher and author. This helps the scientific community compare professionals in the same research field (and career length). Although scoring intellectual activities is often an issue of debate, it also brings its own benefits:
- Inside the scientific community: A standardization of researchers’ performances can be useful for comparison between them, within their field of research. For example, H-index scores are commonly used in the recruitment processes for academic positions and taken into consideration when applying for academic or research grants. At the end of the day, the H-index is used as a sign of self-worth for scholars in almost every field of research.
- In an individual point of view: Knowing the impact of your work among the target audience is especially important in the academic world. With careful analysis and the right amount of reflection, the H-index can give you clues and ideas on how to design and implement future projects. If your paper is not being cited as much as you expected, try to find out what the problem might have been. For example, was the research content irrelevant for the audience? Was the selected journal wrong for your paper? Was the text poorly written? For the latter, consider Elsevier’s text editing and translation services in order to improve your chances of being cited by other authors and improving your H-index.
What is my H-index?
Basically, the H-index score is a standard scholarly metric in which the number of published papers, and the number of times their author is cited, is put into relation. The formula is based on the number of papers (H) that have been cited, and how often, compared to those that have not been cited (or cited as much). See the table below as a practical example:
In this case, the researcher scored an H-index of 6, since he has 6 publications that have been cited at least 6 times. The remaining articles, or those that have not yet reached 6 citations, are left aside.
A good H-index score depends not only on a prolific output but also on a large number of citations by other authors. It is important, therefore, that your research reaches a wide audience, preferably one to whom your topic is particularly interesting or relevant, in a clear, high-quality text. Young researchers and inexperienced scholars often look for articles that offer academic security by leaving no room for doubts or misinterpretations.
What is a good H-Index score journal?
Journals also have their own H-Index scores. Publishing in a high H-index journal maximizes your chances of being cited by other authors and, consequently, may improve your own personal H-index score. Some of the “giants” in the highest H-index scores are journals from top universities, like Oxford University, with the highest score being 146, according to Google Scholar.
Knowing the H-index score of journals of interest is useful when searching for the right one to publish your next paper. Even if you are just starting as an author, and you still don’t have your own H-index score, you may want to start in the right place to skyrocket your self-worth.
See below some of the most commonly used databases that help authors find their H-index values:
- Elsevier’s Scopus: Includes Citation Tracker, a feature that shows how often an author has been cited. To this day, it is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.
- Clarivate Analytics Web of Science: a digital platform that provides the H-index with its Citation Reports feature
- Google Scholar: a growing database that calculates H-index scores for those who have a profile.
Maximize the impact of your research by publishing high-quality articles. A richly edited text with flawless grammar may be all you need to capture the eye of other authors and researchers in your field. With Elsevier, you have the guarantee of excellent output, no matter the topic or your target journal.
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